Interview: CharlieRED - talks authenticity, Religion EP, & being slept on by A&R agents
CharlieRED consisted of Rocki Evans on vocal and Cobaine Ivory on production - the duo has recently sprouted out in response to the state of the music industry. With so much to filter from our music playlist, and whatever is on radio, we were refreshed to find truth. Truth both artistically, and within the message they carry in their music. We recently featured them on our Sol Village showcase after we debuted their "Religion" EP on our site late 2012. When looking at their work and speaking with them it's apparent that they are one of the very few artists keeping it real -- Introducing CharlieRED.
Going back a few years, Cobaine you were and still are a producer.. & Rocki you were doing songwriting for other artists as well as an Independent artist as well. When did you guys decide to pair up?
It stemmed from the end of 2011 which is when Ian Holder (BMI) paired up Rocki and Cobaine. Rocki sang on a song that Cobaine had produced and we each caught wind of each other's work when a music supervisor was looking for placement and Rocki was on a track that Cobaine had heard. It's just such a small world.
Authenticity is key in today's world. Taking a listen to your project it's apparent that you aren't "chasing" after what the radio is playing.
Cobaine: When working with an artist I tend to make sure they represent truth. You can feel it in today's music. Everyone is doing what everyone is doing. When I first herd Rocki I heard potential. I remember saying said "he's got a dope voice". A bunch of people wanted to work with him -- when we paired up I wanted to make sure we kept that "truth" in our music.
"If I Believe" video.. (see above) -- Im assuming that was supposed to depict Rocki when he was younger? Please explain the video for those that havnt seen it..
Rocki: The best thing that represents us is a child.. I myself am very vulnerable and I feel like I write from a child-like vulnerably. The child portion of the passages were me.. the other three video passages on our youtube channel was Cobaine.
You describe your pair as a dork, and an awkward kid..
In terms of our sound we are very much going against the grain. We aren't the coolest kids on the block.
Religion: EP -- the religion EP spoke about your upbringing and this mentality of religion and how it has influenced you. You speak about how you don't need to be religious to have a relationship with "god" -- the intro to the mixtape "The Great Dictator" (track 01) sets the tone perfectly.. care to explain?
Rocki: I was raised in a christian family. I actually started preaching at the age of 10 and I was really into it. I moved out and started staying alone. How I was thinking changed and evolved as I moved to the east coast. I received a call from my grandmother on Sunday while we were recording the Religion EP and she asked me if I was going to church today. I realized then that I never had a chance to explain to her my new point of view when it came to religion. Cobaine was in the room and quietly recorded the conversation on his phone -- I was unaware. The deep conversation about religion was no coincidence. I mean, it happened when we were still recording Religion. It took us about 2 months to record the whole project.
The EP contained no features, simply 10 tracks, & a few interludes explaining to direction of the EP.. were you trying to make it "simple"?
Cobaine: There's no trying. There's no thinking.. There's this quote that really stuck with me and it goes something like this: artists as creatives. we think too much about our audience. The best thing is to go numb. Anything you hear from us is just a flow. As we are creating new stuff, we take a few steps back and say "ok, looks like it's working". The EP just happened.. There was a point when we just said "It's done". And that's when we stopped working on it.
We did some digging and found a tweet that we gravitated towards. "The rest of this year is dedicated to every A&R, producer and exec who pushed me to the side cuz i wasn't quick money!"
Rocki: Prior to meeting with Cobaine I was doing the label chasing thing. A&R agents would tell me "if you tweak your sound like this".. or "if you do that".. and it was really getting to me. Sure I was given the chance to work with my favorite producers, songwriters, and it seemed like the opportunity to take the next step in my artistic career was right there. I felt neglected. It got to a point that I had to figure out my life. That's when CharlieRED was formed. We're interested in speaking to people's souls. Everything is coming full circle now.
The rest of this year is dedicated to every A&R, producer and exec who pushed me to the side cuz i wasn't quick money!
— ROCKI EVANS (@ROCKIEVANS) February 7, 2013